Professor Michael Woods
He holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Wales, Lampeter, and a PhD from Bristol University.
Phone: +44 (0)1970 622 589
- Head of the New Political Geographies Research Group
- Chair, DGES Centenary Planning Working Group
- Co-Director, ESRC WISERD/Civil Society Research Centre
Michael Woods is on Research Leave during the 2014-15 academic year and is only teaching on the following postgraduate modules:
- GGM3720 Rural Economy, Society and Policy
- GGM3920 Training for Policy Research
Michael Woods’s research interests address the broad fields of rural geography and sociology, political geography, economic geography and social geography, with a particular focus on the politics and dynamics of rural change. His current and recent research falls primarily into five main areas:
1) The emergent ‘global countryside’ and the reconstitution of rural places under globalization, employing assemblage theory, critical topography and relational perspectives to understand the interplay of local and global actors and processes and human and non-human actors in reproducing and contesting globalization in the rural sphere. This interest forms the focus of a major European Research Council project, GLOBAL-RURAL (2014-19), building on his previous research as coordinator of Framework Programme 7 project, DERREG (2009-11) and a partner investigator for Australian Research Council project, ‘Globally Engaged? Responses to Neoliberal Globalization among Family Farmers in Australia’ (led by Lynda Cheshire, University of Queensland, 2009-11).
2) The ‘politics of the rural’, rural policy and rural social movements, including local rural conflicts, the mobilization of rural protest movements around issues including hunting and agriculture, and the contested articulation of the rural through policy discourses. These dynamics were examined in the ESRC-funded project ‘Grassroots Rural Protest and Political Activity in Britain’ (2006-8, with Jon Anderson, Cardiff University).
3) Civil society, community governance and participation, in both rural and urban settings, including interactions between local and global civil society, participation in rural community governance and leadership, and the form, function and potential of parish, town and community councils. This research interest is pursued through the ESRC WISERD/Civil Society Research Centre, in which Mike leads Theme 1 on ‘Locality, Community and Landscapes of Civil Society’ and particularly the work package, ‘Redefining Local Civil Society in an Age of Global Interconnectivity’ (2016-18, with Jon Anderson, Cardiff University). Previous research on this theme has included an ESRC-funded project, ‘Participation, Power and Rural Community Governance in England and Wales’ (2000-02, with Bill Edwards), and studies of parish, town and community councils for the Welsh Government and Defra.
4) The social and economic restructuring of rural communities and regions, especially in Wales as explored through the work of the Wales Rural Observatory between 2003 and 2014, including projects on rural development, the public sector, market towns and migrant workers, with collaborators at Aberystwyth and Cardiff Universities including Paul Milbourne, Bill Edwards, Terry Marsden and Mark Goodwin, and researchers including Graham Gardner, Catherine Walkley, Sophie Wynne-Jones and Laura Jones.
5) Creative ruralities and art-science collaborations, exploring the role of the creative economy in rural areas and the intersection of art and science in sustainable rural community development, the latter investigated through an AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award.
- New Political Geographies Research Group
- Environment and Society Research Group
- Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research, Data and Methods (WISERD)
Current Research Projects
- ‘The Global Countryside: Rural Change and Development in Globalization (GLOBAL-RURAL)’, European Research Council Advanced Grant, 2014-19 (PI, with Jesse Heley). Blog and website
- ‘Redefining Local Civil Society in an Age of Global Interconnectivity’, 2016-18 (PI, with Jon Anderson), part of the ESRC WISERD/Civil Society Research Centre. Website
- ‘Engaging Art-Science Collaborations’, AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award, 2013-2017 (PI, with Deborah Dixon and Harriet Hawkins).
Selected Previous Research Projects
- ‘Wales Rural Observatory’, Welsh Government, 2003-2014 (Co-I, with Paul Milbourne, Bill Edwards and others). Website [link to www.walesruralobservatory.org.uk]
- ‘Developing Europe’s Rural Regions in the Era of Globalization (DERREG)’, EU Framework Programme 7, 2009-11 (Co-ordinator). Website [link to www.derreg.eu]
- ‘Globally Engaged? Responses to Neoliberal Globalization among Family Farmers in Australia’, Australian Research Council, 2009-11 (Co-I with Lynda Cheshire, Geoff Lawrence & Zlatko Skrbis). Website [link to www.uq.edu.au/globallyengaged/index.html]
- ‘Grassroots Rural Protest and Political Activity in Britain’, ESRC, 2006-08 (PI with Jon Anderson). Webpage [link to www.aber.ac.uk/en/iges/research-groups/new-political-geographies/research-intro/grassroots-rural-protest-political-activity-br/]
- ‘Research Study of the Quality Parish and Town Council Scheme’, Defra, 2006 (PI, with Graham Gardner) Webpage [link to www.aber.ac.uk/en/iges/research-groups/new-political-geographies/research-intro/quality-parish-town-council-scheme/]
- ‘The Role, Function and Future Potential of Community and Town Councils in Wales’, Welsh Assembly Government, 2002-03 (PI, with Bill Edwards). Webpage [link to www.aber.ac.uk/en/iges/research-groups/new-political-geographies/research-intro/community-town-councils/]
- ‘Participation, Power and Rural Community Governance in England and Wales, ESRC, 2000-02 (PI, with Bill Edwards). Webpage [ link to www.aber.ac.uk/en/iges/research-groups/new-political-geographies/research-intro/participation-power-rural-community-governance/]
- ‘Community Action, Partnerships and Emergent Forms of Governance in Rural Wales and the Borders’, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 1998-2000 (Co-I with Mark Goodwin and Bill Edwards).
Current PhD Students
- Dr Laura Jones
- Dr Anthonia Onyeahialam
- Dr Marc Welsh
Michael Woods joined Aberystwyth University as a Lecturer in Human Geography in 1996, having completed his first degree of the University of Wales, Lampeter, and his PhD at Bristol University, and was appointed as Professor of Human Geography in 2008. Between 2007 and 2013 he was Director of the Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences and served on a number of university committees, including the University Council. In 2014 he was appointed to a two-year post as Professor of Transformative Social Science, responsible for building capacity in social science research across the university.
Mike’s research interests focus on rural geography and political geography and he has led the department’s New Political Geographies Research Group between 2004 and 2008 and since 2013. From 2007 to 2014 he was Co-Director of the Wales Rural Observatory, a joint venture with Cardiff University commissioned by the Welsh Government to undertake research to support the Wales Rural Development Programme. Since 2012 he has been Aberystwyth Co-Director of the Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research, Data and Methods (WISERD) and he is also Co-Director of the ESRC WISERD/Civil Society Research Centre established in 2014 and the Aberystwyth representative on the executive of the Public Policy Institute for Wales. His research has been recognized with John Fraser Award for Research Excellence in Rural Geography by the Association of American Geographers in 2010, and he has held Visiting Professor positions at the University of Queensland and the University of Ljubljana.
Mike is a member of the Welsh Government’s Diamond Review of Higher Education Funding and Student Finance, and was a member of the HEFCW Research, Innovation and Engagement Committee from 2010 to 2013. He is a member of the UK UNESCO Man and Biosphere Programme Committee and of the National Training Advisory Group for Community and Town Councils; he represents Wales on the Council of British Geography (COBRIG) and is a former chair of the Political Geography Research Group of the RGS-IBG and a former member of the Council of the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers).
He is Editor of the Journal of Rural Studies and a member of the editorial boards for Dialogues in Human Geography and European Countryside. His publications include textbooks, Rural (Routledge, 2011), Rural Geography (Sage, 2005), An Introduction to Political Geography (1e 2004, 2e 2014, Routledge) and Key Concepts in Rural Geography (Sage, 2015), the monograph Contesting Rurality: Politics in the British Countryside (Ashgate, 2005), and edited books, New Labour’s Countryside: Rural Policy in Britain since 1997 (Policy Press, 2008), and Globalization and Europe’s Rural Regions (Ashgate, 2015).
Creative ruralities. Journal of Arts and Communities2015. (In press)
Everyday Globalization in a Small Rural Town. Colloque international de géographie rurale, Nantes , France, 02/06/2015 - 06/06/2015.2015.
Explaining rural protest; A comparative analysis. In G. Voerman, D. Strijker, I. Terluin (eds), Rural Protest and Populist Political Parties. Wageningen Academic Publishers2015.
Globalization and Europe's Rural Regions. Perspectives on Rural Policy and Planning Taylor & Francis(eds) 2015.
Globalization and Rural Areas. In D. Richardson , N. Castree , M. Goodchild , A. Kobayashi , W. Liu, D. Marston (eds), International Encyclopedia of Geography: People, the Earth, Environment, and Technology. Wiley2015. (In press)
Reconfiguring places: Wealth and the transformation of rural areas. In J. Beaverstock , I. Hay (eds), International Handbook of Wealth and the Super-Rich. Elgar Original Reference Series Edward Elgar Publishing2015.
Rural Regions, Globalization and Regional Responses: The Case of Oberlausitz Region. In T. Lang, S. Henn, W. Sgibnev, K. Ehrlich (eds), Understanding Geographies of Polarization and Peripheralization: Perspectives from Central and Eastern Europe and Beyond. Palgrave Macmillan pp. 322-338.2015.
Territorialisation and the assemblage of rural place: Examples from Canada and New Zealand. In J. Dessein, E. Battaglini, L. Horlings (eds), Cultural Sustainability and Regional Development: Theories and practices of territorialisation. Routledge Studies in Culture and Sustainable Development Taylor & Francis pp. 29-42.2015.
The LEADER Initiative has been a Victim of Its Own Success. The Decline of the Bottom-Up Approach in Rural Development Programmes. The Cases of Wales and Andalusia. Sociologia Ruralis 10.1111/soru.120792015.
Wales’ hidden globaleconomy: uncovering thetransnational networks of smalltown SMEs. WISERD Annual Conference 2015, Cardiff, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, 30/06/2015 - 02/07/2015.2015.
An Introduction to Political Geography: Space, Place and Politics. 2ndth edn, Taylor & Francis2014.
Family Farming in the Global Countryside. Anthropological Notebooks 20 (3) pp. 31-48.2014.
Political Geographies of ‘Food Security’ and ‘Food Sovereignty’. Geography Compass 8 (11) pp. 773-784. 10.1111/gec3.121632014.
Wales & Recession: Rural communities. WISERD: Wales & Recession Lecture Series, Cardiff, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, 11/09/2014. Other2014.
Economic entanglements and the reshaping of place in the global countryside. In C. Tamásy, J. Diez (eds), Regional Resilience, Economy and Society: Globalising Rural Places. The Dynamics of Economic Space Taylor & Francis pp. 11-32.2013.
Globally engaged farmers as transnational actors: Navigating the landscape of agri-food globalization. Geoforum 44 pp. 232-242. 10.1016/j.geoforum.2012.09.0032013.
New localities. Regional Studies 47 (1) pp. 29-42. 10.1080/00343404.2012.7096122013.
Rhizomic radicalism and arborescent advocacy: A Deleuzo-Guattarian reading of rural protest. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 31 (3) pp. 434-450. 10.1068/d149092013.
Rich, Rural and Rooted? Neoliberalism, neopaternalism and the transnational rural geographies of the super-rich. In I. Hay (ed), Geographies of the Super-rich. Edward Elgar Publishing Other2013.
The Role of Guanxi in Rural Social Movements: Two Case Studies from Taiwan. Journal of Agrarian Change 13 (2) pp. 197-212. 10.1111/j.1471-0366.2012.00359.x2013.
The elite countryside: Shifting rural geographies of the transnational super-rich. In I. Hay (ed), Geographies of the Super-rich. Edward Elgar Publishing pp. 123-136.2013.
'The Country(side) is Angry': emotion and explanation in protest mobilization. Social and Cultural Geography 13 (6) pp. 567-585. 10.1080/14649365.2012.7046432012.
Accelerated restructuring in rural China fueled by ‘increasing vs. decreasing balance’ land-use policy for dealing with hollowed villages. Land Use Policy 29 (1) pp. 11-22. 10.1016/j.landusepol.2011.04.003 Other2012.
Case Study Contextual Report 10: Comarca de Verin. DERREG Other2012.
Case Study Contextual Report 7: Pomurska. DERREG Other2012.
Case Study Contextual Report 9: Alytus County. DERREG Other2012.
DERREG: Developing Europe’s Rural Regions in the Era of Globalization. DERREG Other2012.
Globalization and Rural Europe. In J. McDonagh, B. Nienaber, M. Woods (eds), Globalization and Europe's Rural Regions. Taylor & Francis2012.
New directions in rural studie? Journal of Rural Studies 28 (1) pp. 1-4. 10.1016/j.jrurstud.2011.12.0022012.
Rural Futures and the Future of Rural Geography. Progress in Human Geography 36 (1) pp. 125-134. 10.1177/03091325103931352012.
Rural People and the Land. In I. Convery, G. Corsane, P. Davis (eds), Making Sense of Place: Multidisciplinary Perspectives . Boydell & Brewer2012.
Rurality. In H. Anheier, M. Juergensmeyer (eds), Encyclopedia of Global Studies. Sage Publications2012.
Applied policy research and critical human geography: Some reflection on swimming in murky waters. Dialogues in Human Geography 1 (2) pp. 198-214. 10.1177/20438206114044882011.
Case Study Contextual Report 1: Jihomoravsky kraj. European Commission Other2011.
Case Study Contextual Report 2: Oevre Norrland. European Commission Other2011.
Case Study Contextual Report 4: Direktionsbezirk Dresden. DERREG Other2011.
Case Study Contextual Report 8: West Region of Ireland. DERREG Other2011.
DERREG: Project Periodic Report. Framework Programme 7 Other2011.
Diving in again - a response to commentaries on 'Applied policy research and critical human geography: some reflections on swimming in murky waters'. Dialogues in Human Geography 1 (2) pp. 242-244. 10.1177/20438206114044972011.
Grounding global uncertainties and the relational politics of the rural. 2011 Annual Meeting, Seattle, Washington. 2011 Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting, Seattle, United States of America, 12/04/2011 - 16/04/2011. Other2011.
Market Towns in Rural Wales: a differentiated geography. In P. Milbourne (ed), Rural Wales in the Twenty First Century - Society, Economy and Environment. Gwasg Prifysgol Cymru | University of Wales Press Other2011.
Poles Apart? Migrant Workers in Rural Wales. In P. Milbourne (ed), Rural Wales in the Twenty-Frirst Century: Society, Economy and Environment. Gwasg Prifysgol Cymru | University of Wales Press2011.
Poles Apart?: Migrant workers and community in Rural Wales. In P. Milbourne (ed), Rural Wales in the Twenty First Century: Society, Economy and Environment. Gwasg Prifysgol Cymru | University of Wales Press2011.
Regions engaging globalization: a typology of regional responses in rural Europe. Regional Studies Other2011.
Rural Restructuring under Globalization in Eastern Coastal China: What can we learn from Wales? Journal of Rural and Community Development 6 (1) pp. 70-94.2011.
The local politics of the global countryside: boosterism, aspirational ruralism and the contested reconstitution of Queenstown, New Zealand. GeoJournal 76 (4) pp. 365-381. 10.1007/s10708-009-9268-72011.
Voluntarism and new forms of governance in rural communities. In C. Milligan, D. Conradson (eds), Landscapes of Voluntarism: New Spaces of Health, Welfare and Governance. Policy Press, Bristol pp. 53-72.2011.
Policing Rural Protest. In R. Mawby, R. Yarwood (eds), Rural Policing and Policing the Rural : A Constable Countryside? Taylor & Francis pp. 109-121.2010.
Reporting an Unsettled Countryside: The news media and rural protests in Britain. Culture Unbound 12 13 pp. 215-239. 10.3384/cu.2000.1525.102132152010.
Representing Rural America: The Reconstruction of a Political Space. In D. Winchell, D. Ramsay, R. Koster, G. Robinson (eds), Geographical Perspectives on Sustainable Rural Change. Rural Development Institute pp. 298-312.2010.
Rural. Taylor & Francis2010.
Rural Protests in Britain and the Enigmatic Significance of Globalization. In D. Schmied, G. Wilson (eds), Globalization and Rural Transitions in Germany and the UK. Rural Cuvillier pp. 167-176.2010.
Citizenship and Governmentality, Rural. In R. Kitchin, N. Thrift (eds), International Encyclopedia of Human Geography. Elsevier2009.
DERREG: Literature Review and Conceptual Framework.2009.
Exploring the uneven geographies of 'Rural Geography': Commentary on M. Kurtz and V. Craig, 'Constructing Rural Geographies in Practice'. ACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies 8 (2) pp. 394-413.2009.
Partnerships in Rural Education: Identification of Research Themes. Welsh Journal of Education 14 (2) pp. 144-149.2009.
Political economies of place in the emergent global countryside: Stories from Rural Wales. In G. Halseth, S. Markey, D. Bruce (eds), The Next Rural Economies: Constructing Rural Place in a Global Economy. CABI Publishing pp. 166-178.2009.
Rural Geography. In R. Kitchin, N. Thrift (eds), International Encyclopedia of Human Geography. Elsevier pp. 429-441. 10.1016/B978-008044910-4.00900-72009.
Rural Protest. In R. Kitchin, N. Thrift (eds), International Encylopedia of Human Geography, volume 8. Elsevier pp. 474-479.2009.
Rural geography: blurring boundaries and making connections. Progress in Human Geography 33 (6) pp. 849-858.2009.
Beyond New Labour's countryside. In M. Woods (ed), New Labour's Countryside: Rural Policy in Britain since 1997. pp. 257-276.2008.
Central and Eastern European Migrant Workers in Rural Wales. Wales Rural Observatory Other2008.
Hunting: New Labour success or New Labour failure? In M. Woods (ed), New Labour's Countryside: Rural Policy in Britain since 1997. pp. 95-114.2008.
New Labour's Countryside: Rural Policy in Britain since 1997. Policy Press(ed) 2008.
New Labour's Countryside. In M. Woods (ed), New Labour's Countryside: Rural Policy in Britain since 1997. pp. 3-28.2008.
Rural People and the Land: The Case for Connections. Commission for Rural Communities2008.
Attractive ruralities?: Re-thinking European peripheries in the global countryside. In E. Knappe, E. Müller, S. Lentz, U. Wardenga (eds), Ländliche Gesellschaft europäischer Peripherien: Rural Society of European Peripheries. Leibniz-Institut für Länderkunde pp. 23-38.2007.
Key concepts in urban studies By M Gottdiener and Leslie Budd. Area 39 (2) pp. 247-248. 10.1111/j.1475-4762.2007.762_1.x2007.
Redefining the 'rural question': The new 'politics of the rural' and social policy. In G. Giarchi (ed), Challenging Welfare Issues in the Global Countryside: Broadening Perspectives in Social Policy. Wiley pp. 1-17.2007.
Small and Market Towns in Rural Wales and their Hinterlands. Wales Rural Observatory Other2007.
Foreword. In C. Freeman, M. Thompson-Fawcett (eds), Living Together: Toward Inclusive Communities. Otago University Press pp. 7-12.2006.
Leadership in place: elites, institutions and agency in British rural community governance. In L. Cheshire, V. Higgins, G. Lawrence (eds), Rural Governance: International Perspectives. Routledge Studies in Human Geography Taylor & Francis, Abingdon pp. 211-226.2006.
Political articulation: the modalities of new critical politics of rural citizenship. In P. Cloke, T. Marsden, P. Mooney (eds), Handbook of Rural Studies. Sage Publications pp. 457-471.2006.
Research Study of the Quality Parish and Town Council Scheme. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Other2006.
Rural politics and governance. In J. Midgley (ed), A New Rural Agenda. Institute for Public Policy Research pp. 140-168.2006.
Scoping study on Eastern and Central European migrant workers in rural Wales. Wales Rural Observatory Other2006.
An Introduction to Political Geography: Space, Place and Politics. 1stth edn, Taylor & Francis2004.
Mobilising the local: Community, participation and governance. In L. Holloway, M. Kneafsey (eds), Geographies of Rural Cultures and Societies. Illustratedth edn, Taylor & Francis, Aldershot pp. 173-196.2004.
Rural Geography: Processes, Responses and Experiences in Rural Restructuring. Sage Publications2004.
Research Study into the Role, Function and Future Potential of Community and Town Councils in Wales. Welsh Government Other2003.